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A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano

A House That Once Was

by Julie Fogliano

Other authors: Lane Smith (Illustrator)

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Fabulous - a wonderful marriage of verse and image, both excellent intheir own right. ( )
  nzlibrarygirl | Oct 8, 2018 |
Beautifully written and beautifully illustrated, A House That Once Was is a triumph of a picture-book, one that successfully evokes that feeling of childhood, of exploring a mysterious world that echoes with the sounds and shadows of those who came before. The poetic narrative follows some children as they explore an old, abandoned house, imagining who might have lived there, long ago. The artwork depicts their exploration of the here and now, and their imaginings of the then, in different mediums, emphasizing the subtle shifts between reality and possibility in the text.

I found the text of A House That Once Was immensely engaging, stopping on every page to savor the words, and to marvel at particularly evocative phrases. A door "stuck between coming and going," a window "that's watching" - so many vividly descriptive moments, moments that capture that elusive feeling of breathless exploration. The artwork is just as engrossing, with a lovely color palette that manages somehow to be both vivid and muted, and a shifting sensibility that captures those in-between moments when children are stepping both through the real world and the imagined one. Details are given, on the colophon at the rear, about the different approaches Lane Smith used, in depicting the real vs. the imagined world. A gorgeous, beautifully-realized, poetic picture-book, this is one to add to my growing list of titles (see also: Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall and Ocean Meets Sky by the Fan Brothers) worthy of this year's Caldecott Medal! Recommended to young children who wonder about the history of the buildings around them, and of the people who used them, and to anyone who enjoys beautiful picture-books. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | May 18, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Julie Foglianoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Smith, LaneIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Deep in the woods
is a house
just a house
that once was
but now isn’t
a home.

Who lived in that house? Who walked down its hallways? Why did they leave it, and where did they go?

Two children set off to find the answers, piecing together clues found, books left behind, forgotten photos, discarded toys, and creating their own vision of those who came before.
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Two children explore an abandoned house and imagine the lives of the people who used to live there.

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